“Busy.” It is the common response to the courteous question of, “How are you doing?” The busy nature of our lives has evolved from a hole from which to dig oneself out to a social status that helps to define our importance. We are busy because we are needed. We are busy because our lives are important. We are busy because our culture has elevated the life-sucking problem of busyness to the mark of success.
Throughout the Bible, the Scriptures present a picture of rest. On the seventh day of creation, the Lord rested. The author of the book of Hebrews invites us as followers of Jesus to join Him in rest when he says: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10 ESV). So, what are some truths that we need to cling to if we are to run from our stress and busyness into the rest of God?
Recognize that God Is in Control. In order to rest, we must realize that we are not on the throne of our lives and of the universe. God is on the throne. He is the One who is ruling and reigning in the world. He has our past, present, and future in His hands which He is working out by His sovereign plan for His glory and our good.
Remember that God Is at Work. In order to rest, we must remember that God is at work. So often, we want to take things into our hands that only God can do. Only God can heal the sick, change someone’s heart and attitudes, and bring people to come to know Him. We so frequently stress out about things that are God’s work and not our own.
Rest in Your Place as His Beloved. Resting begins by remembering whose you are and what God has done for you. Because of the gospel, we have been rescued from our own failures to be a good person, have it all together, and to follow God. We have been made perfect because of Jesus’ work for us at the cross. We are a beloved child of God. His love for us comes not from our performance for Him but because of His endless grace.
Today, take a moment to breathe out stress and rest in grace. You are in much stronger hands than you realize!
Dr. Ben Birdsong serves as the Minister of Students at Meadow Brook Baptist, and also writes and blogs at www.benbirdsong.com